Conor Bell teaches applied bassoon lessons, reed-making, music theory and aural skills at Auburn University. Dr. Bell is particularly passionate about exploring new works for the bassoon and further expanding the bassoon's repertoire by arranging other instrument’s works for bassoon.
Dr. Bell studied at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, where he earned both his master's and doctoral degrees. His dissertation, titled "David Maslanka and His Works for the Bassoon," explores the life, compositional process, as well as providing an in-depth theoretical and pedagogical analysis of American composer David Maslanka’s bassoon pieces. Conor also holds doctoral minors in both Music Theory and Arts Administration.
Conor has held the position of principal bassoon with the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra in Kentucky since 2016 joined the LaGrange Symphony as second bassoon in 2021. He also frequently appears as a substitute with various orchestras in Indiana, Alabama, and Georgia. Conor is also a passionate chamber musician, performing with the Elicio Winds—a flute, oboe, bassoon trio—the Æther reed quintet, and other community outreach-oriented ensembles such as Classical Music Indy and the Owensboro Brownbag Lunch concert series.
Conor is passionate about tailoring his instruction to each students’ needs and interests, while developing solid fundamentals which enable students to express their musical ideas without hindrance and using music theory and history to unlock meaningful artistic expression. He has experience teaching all levels of experience, including beginners through graduate students and even adult hobbyists. Conor is also the bassoon clinician for the Double Talk Workshop, an initiative for music educators which emphasizes the “how-to” of teaching double reed fundamentals, strives to give ensemble directors hands-on time playing the oboe and bassoon, and discusses important double reed resources necessary for student success.
A Texas native, Conor received his Bachelor of Music degree from West Texas A&M where he studied with Tina Carpenter. During his graduate degrees, he studied with William Ludwig, Kathleen McLean, and Christopher Millard. When he’s not bassooning, Conor enjoys reading good books, playing racquetball, and hiking with his wife, oboist Kathleen Carter Bell.
Photo by Kathleen Carter Bell